Steamed lobster with drawn butter–with its sweet, succulent tail, slurpy claws, and chunky knuckles–is one of summer’s greatest hits. What sets this recipe apart is the herbaceousness of both the steaming liquid and the butter.
Steaming lobster is simple enough. It’s also stunning enough for company when you add herb-infused drawn butter (just a fancy way to say melted butter) imparts a lovely lilt to the lobster. Originally published August 31, 2010.–Renee Schettler Rossi
Steamed Lobster with Drawn Butter
- Quick Glance
- 15 M
- 30 M
- Serves 4
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1/2 bunch thyme
- 4 bay leaves
- 4 lemons, plus more for serving
- Four (2-pound) live lobsters
- 2 sticks unsalted butter (8 oz)
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped basil leaves
- 1. Fill a large steamer or stock pot with about 2 inches of water and toss in the salt, thyme, bay leaves, and the juice of 1 lemon. If a more emphatic lemon flavor is desired, go ahead and toss in the halves of 2 lemons. Bring to a boil.
- 2. Place the lobsters in the steamer basket or directly in the pot, cover, and steam until the shells are bright red and the tail is curled, about 15 minutes. Remove the lobsters from the pot and let drain.
- 3. Meanwhile, gently warm the butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Warm it up gently so the milk solids begin to cook and sink to the bottom of the pot. Keep a close watch because once the milk solids collect and fall, they burn easily. Carefully pour the clear butter into a small dish, leaving the solids behind in the pan. (If necessary, strain the drawn butter to remove any pesky lingering solids.) Squeeze the juice of 2 lemons into the drawn butter and stir in the parsley and basil.
- 4. Serve the steamed lobster with the drawn butter and lemon wedges.
How to Crack a Steamed Lobster
- 1. Twist off both of the claws from the body. Separate the claw and knuckle by snapping it like a twig.
- 2. Pull off the small legs from the body and remove the meat with a lobster fork or, if you prefer, suck out the meat and juice. Turn the body over and scoop out the meat from the pockets. There may be a green substance called tamale, which is actually the liver and is considered a delicacy by some but certainly not all.
- 3. Use a lobster or nutcracker to crack the large claws just below the tip. Pull off the shell and remove the meat in one piece.
- 4. Twist the head and tail of the lobster in opposite directions, separating the tail from the body.
- 5.Break off the tail fins. Stick a fork inside the tail to pull out the meat in one piece, taking care not to tear any of the flesh.